Nothing But Netflix: Your Ultimate March Madness Streaming Bracket Is Here

PHoto: Courtesy of Netflix.
News about fatalities from COVID-19 and cities that remain in lockdown and recovery mode following the international pandemic vastly outweighs anything else happening in the world right now, full stop. But those of us restless at home, worried about the present and even more concerned about the future, need some rays of light. March Madness was going to be such a ray. The annual basketball tournament, which was going to pit 172 teams against each other in one of the most highly-anticipated sporting events of the year, was officially cancelled on March 12.  More like March Sadness.
We decided to channel these feelings of anxiety into competitive joy, stacking up the most inventive and outstanding Netflix original TV shows and docu-series against one another. Because television is one of the few social distancing and self-isolating activities we can all participate in, it’s time to put your taste to the test in our “Nothing But Net(flix)” March Madness bracket (click here to print it out!), which you'll find below. And once you choose your Netflix winner, you can revisit Refinery29’s 2019 March Madness bracket: Game of Bones, which places the sexiest Game of Thrones sex scenes against each other.
If you need a refresher course on any of the Netflix treats in the bracket — keep reading.
Designed by Hannah Minn

True Crime:

Is there anything more bone-chilling than a true crime docu-series? We can attribute many nightmares to the following true stories.
No. 1 Seed: Making A Murderer
It took a few weeks for Making a Murderer to pick up steam before it became one of the first widely-binged true crime docu-series from Netflix.
No. 2 Seed: Wild Wild Country
A small town in Oregon housed one of the most eccentric religious communities to ever exist stateside. Produced by the Duplass brothers, this documentary garnered a cult-like following of its own.
No. 3 Seed: The Keepers 
Released on the heels of Making a Murderer, The Keepers is an even more nuanced story about the unsolved murder of a nun, and the dark truth that surrounded her time working as a teacher at Archibishop Keough High in Baltimore.
No. 4 Seed: The Staircase
The biggest and longest-standing theory around the crime at the heart of The Staircase sounds like something out of David Lynch’s mind. It involves an owl, a staircase, and a knot of tangled hair. This twisted docu-series was one of the most highly-anticipated true crime releases of 2018.
No. 5 Seed: Abducted In Plain Sight
Originally produced and released in 2017 by Skye Borgman, the woman at the center of this documentary, herself, Netflix unleashed Abducted In Plain Sight on audiences in 2019 with little warning about how wild the story of Skye’s traumatic childhood would get. 
No. 6 Seed: Conversations With A Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes
Remember when Ted Bundy had a *moment* in pop culture and the whole world cringed? This is the documentary series that set it off.
No. 7 Seed: Killer Inside: The Mind Of Aaron Hernandez 
Part sports documentary, part true crime thriller, Killer Inside: The Mind Of Aaron Hernandez takes the well-known story around the football star turned killer and makes it even more complicated.
No. 8 Seed: Don’t F**k With Cats
Where do we start with this show? It’s fu**ing wild, upsetting, disturbing, and like nothing else we’ve ever experienced. We’re still not sure if that’s a good or bad thing.

The Classics:

There is a new Netflix series nearly every day. These are the favorites that remain a touchstone in the face of Peak TV bloat. 
No. 1 Seed: Orange Is The New Black
Orange Is The New Black isn’t the first-ever Netflix original series (that honor goes to House of Cards). But, the prison drama is the one that made the streaming platform a must-have for water cooler — and Twitter — conversations. No matter what, OITNB set the standard for what “A Netflix Show” could be.   
No. 2 Seed: Stranger Things
A new season of Stranger Things doesn’t feel like a normal TV premiere — it’s a pop cultural holiday. With its surprise season 1 premiere and ever widening mythology, the Upside Down adventure officially took all the blockbuster energy from movie theaters and stuffed it into your TV screen. 
No. 3 Seed: The Crown
Netflix may dominate social media (see the Meme Central conference) but The Crown proves the streamer can craft reliable awards show contenders too. The royal-obsessed prestige drama has Emmys, Golden Globes, SAG Awards, and even a couple of BAFTAs under its belt. When you’ve got Netflix moneys, what else is to be expected? 
No. 4 Seed: Black Mirror
Black Mirror proves Netflix sci-fi isn’t just empty thrills. It can be a thought-provoking journey that brings the streamer lots of love from the Television Academy.  
No. 5 Seed: The OA 
The OA is so powerful, it was cancelled by Netflix… and everyone still believes the axing is a hypermeta ploy to hide a super-secret upcoming third season. Are we all just living in The OA’s world? 
No. 6 Seed: 13 Reasons Why
13 Reasons Why is complicated, controversial, and oftentimes downright frustrating. Backed by Selena Gomez, it kickstarted Netflix’s unstoppable YA renaissance. 
No. 7 Seed: BoJack Horseman
An animated show about a talking horse voiced by G.O.B. Bluth shouldn’t be able to make you cry. Yet BoJack Horseman is a sublime exploration of addiction, depression, and, oftentimes, hope in the face of your biggest demons.  
No. 8 Seed: One Day At A Time
One Day is such a compelling Netflix show that it’s the first one to get cancelled by the streamer only to find resurrection on good old linear cable. You can’t keep the Alvarez family down. 

International Hits:

Once upon a time, watching foreign-language movies and TV shows seemed like a capital-E Event. Now, we get a new must-see global series beamed into our homes every week. These are the crème de la crème
No. 1 Seed: Elite
Pretty Little Liars. Riverdale. Hell, even Scream. Fictional American teens have been trying to solve gruesome murders for decades. However, Elite perfected the formula with the style of Gossip Girl, the decadence of Game of Thrones, and bigger, sexier mysteries than any of its competitors. 
No. 2 Seed: Babylon Berlin 
Babylon Berlin is the most expensive non-English drama ever produced. When you slip into the period piece’s sumptuous take on Weimar Republic era Germany, it shows. 
No. 3 Seed: Money Heist
Similar to Elite, Netflix turned a gorgeous Spanish-language series like Money Heist into a global phenomenon. 
No. 4 Seed: TEOTFW
The End of the F***ing World reveals the true magic of what Netflix can do. The wickedly heartfelt series’ shorter-form episodes really shine when viewers can binge an entire season (or two) in a day. 
No. 5 Seed: Bodyguard
Bodyguard was immediately an impossibly huge hit when it premiered in the U.K. It came to Netflix about a month after its British finale and took over the world. The political thriller is so strong, it may have just catapulted its leading man into the suit and tie of 007
No. 6 Seed: Queen Sono
Netflix’s first-ever African series managed to hit the mark right off the bat with this sleek spy tale. 
No. 7 Seed: Kingdom
If The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones had a K-drama baby, it would be Kingdom, an epic 16th century tale of zombies and geography hopping palace intrigue. 
No. 8 Seed: Dark
Many American series have tried to succeed when it comes to building a mind-blowing puzzle box. German teen drama Dark actually does it. 

Meme Central:

These are the shows that were made for endless GIFs and Out of Context accounts. They will never leave your timeline, even if their latest season premiered three months ago. 
No. 1 Seed: You
Hey, you. The mesmerizing power (and terror) of upsettingly hot serial killer Joe Goldberg (Penn Badgley) is so strong on Netflix, his stalker drama left its initial cable home of Lifetime to become a permanent original series on the streamer.  
No. 2 Seed: Love Is Blind 
LIB may not have the hypnotic pull of Joe Goldberg, but it has made the Hamiltons a household name and Jessica Batton’s wine dog the meme of the month. 
No. 3 Seed: The Circle 
The Circle walked so Love Is Blind could run. 
No. 4 Seed: Sex Education 
Sex Education is the life blood of Netflix UK’s fantastic main Instagram account. It’s for good reason — the horny teens of Moordale High are just waiting to be quoted. 
No. 5 Seed: The Society 
You may have forgotten about The Society. But few series have a year-round thriving internet fandom like this one. If you need proof, check out our favorite Instagram stan account
No. 6 Seed: Russian Doll
This genre-bending series is a little more niche than the ones higher up on this list. But its exhausted protagonist Nadia (co-creator/writer/star Natasha Lyonne) is always there for you when you really need to hate on a Monday
No. 7 Seed: Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina 
There are many reasons CAOS deserves a place in this conference. Chief among them: Nick Scratch’s (Gavin Leatherwood) “Call me daddy” moment in part 3. 
No. 8 Seed: American Vandal
If you stopped at any random moment in American Vandal, you’ll find a memeable line. However, the true crime parody is still at the bottom of its conference because it’s the only one to be unceremoniously cancelled by Netflix.

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